Global Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences

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Long-term hepatotoxicity and hypoglycaemic study of Aqueous extracts of Carica papaya leaves on normal rabbits

AA Omonkhua, IO Onoagbe


The use of Carica papaya extracts as an anti-diabetic remedy in Nigeria is well documented. Since these extracts are usually taken for long periods of time, it is important to assess their long term biochemical effects so as to
ascertain their safety. In this study, the effects of aqueous extracts of C. papaya leaves, orally administered daily at 200mg/Kg body weight, on body weight, blood glucose and liver function tests of normal rabbits were observed at preset times in the serum for 24 weeks, and in the tissues. Administration of C. papaya aqueous leave extracts caused significant (p<0.05) reductions in body weight and fasting blood glucose levels for the 24 weeks of monitoring. The parameters used to assess liver function (alanine transaminase [ALT], aspartate transaminase [AST], alkaline
phosphatase [ALP], gamma glutamyl transferase [ã-GT], total and direct bilirubin) revealed that the administration of C. papaya extracts caused an initial toxic response from the liver, as well as, bile duct obstruction, that were transient and not severe. Since the hypoglycaemic effects of C. papaya was again established by this study, further studies to harness the therapeutic effects and reduce the negative side effects are required; long term consumption of the extracts should be closely monitored by a physician.

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